Pauline Hanson: Give Australians a vote on immigration

By Leith van Onselen

Following Pauline Hanson’s Notice of Motion in June for a plebiscite at the next general election on Australia’s immigration levels:

Ms Hanson has penned an article in The Australian today demanding a vote on Australia’s immigration levels to be held at the same time as the next federal election, and plans to introduce legislation to hold a plebiscite on the issue:

Australia’s population increased by 3.5 million people in the decade to 2016. About 60 per cent of that increase came from immigration.

There is no doubt legal immigration is the cause of Australia’s exceptional population growth…

Our immigration policy is like a riderless horse. It is dangerous. What we need is a rider, a population policy to safely guide the ­immigration horse.

Each year, the government of the day sets an immigration target but there is no plan to take into account the cumulative long-term consequences of those year-on-year decisions…

It is time to put the interests of citizens first and to stop pandering to special interest groups, including business, higher education and property developers, who benefit from excessive immigration…

Perhaps the major parties will be persuaded of the electorate’s view if a referendum on immigration is held at the next general election, because that is what is proposed in the Plebiscite (Migration Level) 2018 bill.

My bill proposes to ask voters: “Do you think the immigration rate is too high?”

My view is that an overwhelming majority of Australians will say that the immigration rate is too high when they are told 62 per cent of the population increase in the decade to 2016 was the result of immigration…

At no time have Australian’s views been sought over how big they want Australia to become, despite the five most recent opinion polls showing majority support for lower immigration:

  • Australian Population Research Institute: 54% want lower immigration;
  • Newspoll: 56% want lower immigration;
  • Essential: 54% believe Australia’s population is growing too fast and 64% believe immigration is too high;
  • Lowy: 54% of people think the total number of migrants coming to Australia each year is too high; and
  • Newspoll: 74% of voters support the Turnbull government’s cut of more than 10% to the annual permanent migrant intake to 163,000 last financial year.

For this reason, Australians deserve to have a plebiscite seeking their views about the nation’s future population size, the answers of which would then be used to formulate Australia’s immigration intake to meet the said target.

Here is an example of the type of question that could be taken to the Australian people:

Australia’s population is currently 25 million. Under zero net overseas migration (NOM), it is projected to reach 27 million by 2060.

ScreenHunter_15977 Nov. 09 07.44

By 2060, do you believe Australia’s population should be:

  • 27 million;
  • 30 million;
  • 35 million;
  • 40 million;
  • 45 million?

Obviously, there is room to move on the language and the chart should be updated to show the level of NOM corresponding to the choices, but you get the idea. The important thing is that Australian’s views are sought and this consensus is then used to formulate a national population policy.

In it’s recent Migrant Intake Australia report, the Productivity Commission also explicitly called for a national population strategy, rather than flying blindly. It’s also the democratic thing to do.

The alternative is to ignore the will of the masses and allow the rise of extreme political groups that normally sensible people will turn to because they express their anger, as witnessed across Europe.

[email protected]

Unconventional Economist


      • i think this could be bad as the result of the vote would be a no. also might someone add a question about whether the rate is too low. i think all of the media would support high immigration and so the result would be a no and people wouldnt want the country to be labelled racist.

      • That would be a good outcome too. Good informational value.

        I could use it to make my decision to leave.

      • Wino Shinyface

        yes its scary, this country could have the potential to go full liz allen retard like that being 28% foreign born already

      • Quote “i think this could be bad as the result of the vote would be a no. also might someone add a question about whether the rate is too low. i think all of the media would support high immigration and so the result would be a no and people wouldnt want the country to be labelled racist”

        Nope, not a chance in the world, you cannot control how people vote when they are voting behind the anonymity of the ballot booth. Just look at Brexit, Trump etc.
        Which is why major parties are scared of such a vote.

      • yeah id wanna leave too (truth be told i do now) but where a honky ‘posed to go? all white countries outside eastern europe have the same problem we do, and i dont speak hungarian or polish.

    • I expect attacks on Pauline to increase to muddy the difference between racism and immigration reform. After the lobby groups and both political parties are finished with it, the question won’t be:
      – “Do you think migration is too high?”
      they will change it to:
      – “Are you a racist?”

      The outcome will be more of the same and the huge, unmanaged influx will continue. The issue for guys like Leith is how to guard against this, as Pauline is great at shooting herself in the foot?

  1. The 62% coming from immigration actually underplays things as part of our so called natural increase is the result of immigrants having children.

    • Which implies that some real demographic analysis and credible statistics should be used – but won’t be. Instead the ABC will ask fake demographers for their opinion about the social justice implications and impacts upon their diversity agendas and other ideological fixations.

  2. Wino Shinyface

    one nation is doing more for the environment then the greens and more to lift wages then Labor …

    • “Then” is an adverb, often used to situate actions in time. For example, “Pauline Hanson is going to fry some fish then some chips”
      “Than” is a conjunction used mainly in making comparisons—e.g., “Pauline Hanson is doing more than the greens for the environment”

      • yeborskyMEMBER

        I’m with you there, ping. If people are too lazy to make the effort to put forward a considered, checked post, whether it be here or anywhere else, why the f*ck should we waste our time reading it. If they do so in a CV as part of a job application, they’ve lost before they’ve started. At least, he spelled “lol” correctly.

      • Hi pinguppenguin. As your name is a proper noun it should be spelt with a capital letter. Also, it isn’t actually a word, leading it to personally offend me and all penguins. I also believe your use of the term “ping” is offensive against the Chinese and should also be capitalised. Or is that communised… not sure.

      • Jesus, chill the F* out people. No need to go overboard. Just pointing out a common mistake people make, no need to read anything more into it than that.

        But for the record, a legit grammatical error is slightly different to an internet nickname. I’ll spell pingu any way I damn well please thank you very much.

  3. Can’t have the people having any say in decisions like this in a representative democracy AKA 2 party dictatorship.
    So expect this bill to be voted down by the majors.

    • at leas you comprehend the natire of the beast.

      Here’s a nice way to ask at the plebiscite:
      Q1: are you for the reduction of the immigration to the historical level *even* if it means you will lose all the equity in your RE and create a substantial loss that will take decades to pay of in non-recourse credit economies?

  4. So who currently sets the immigration intake? How is it done? By what mechanism and to what assumed end?

    Of course one day we might even get around to a mechanism for forming a population policy in the national interest. Right now I’d just like to know how the intake decisions are made. Cabinet? A grey advisor in a pinstripe suit? A consultant with a thin briefcase? An annual meeting at ANU with Dr Allen and Anus McBollox and a calculation on the back of a packet of imported haggis?

    Where is the Big Australia policy kept or written down? How do millions of people get shifted about the globe without any good documentation and analysis?

  5. Also the funding for the remaining part of population growth via budget funded extension of life should be on plebiscite

  6. Hopefully she draws a line in the sand and says she will not vote for any legislation until she gets this up.
    Once this is dealt with she can move on to Family Court like she promised.

  7. If only Hanson would f**k off and let someone with some minimal level of competence advocate for a lower population. She flip flops and sells out her ostensible ideals for the dumbest possible concessions (An inquiry into halal? A couple of bucks for TAFE for tax cuts?), while despoiling the Senate with a bunch of crackpots, charlatans and bankrupts who are even worse than her.

    While she’s the sole voice calling for lower immigration (or at least the sole voice quoted by the media), we’ll continue to see record high levels of migrants coming in and successive governments utterly failing to deal with the consequences of their short-sighted actions.

    • Pity Kelvin Thomson didn’t stay in parliament, his rational comments on overpopulation would have found a much more interested public now.

      • Kelvin Thomson would not survive an ICAC – absolute crook. So yeh, not much of a step up from Pauline.

      • @Stephen
        A bit harsh. He once foolishly gave a character reference for someone he had never met who turned out to be dodgy, but don’t think there was anything else.

      • Know Your Enemy

        Why would you give a character reference to someone you’d never met

        Lack of judgement at worst, lazy at best

  8. reusachtigeMEMBER

    She needs to go on Andrew Bolt’s show like the rest of the redneck vibrancy destruction commentators do!

    • Just for our edification, what kind of “targeting” and “delivery method” are you talking about? 😛

  9. She should have stopped immigration in exchange for the corporate tax cuts that she passed.

  10. The stupid thing about all this is that a referendum would give all the major parties cover to hide behind to reduce imigration.
    If her legislation passes to hold a referendum then it should be a case of the major parties putting on a show of bowing to the wishes of the citizens of a free democratic country. If they dont it proves they are run by special interests and do not respect the wishes of the people.

  11. I don’t think your graph will ever get a run in the plebiscite as there will be way too many arguing what the lines should be.

    i.e. big business will be asking for a line with 100m so that the 40m line looks positively moderate

    We know most people will pick the middle option!

  12. Giving Australians a vote on immigration will be much similar to Britain’s Brexit vote. The Establishment ignored what the people wanted on the European Unions ever increasing encroachments on British independence as the country became flooded with cheap and exploited labour from eastern Europe. That was a big aspect of Brexit although not the only one. If there is a vote on immigration here, expect exactly the same tactics used by Project Fear as the Establishment’s scare campaign became known and is known in Britain today. Their prediction of an immediate recession if Britain voted for independence and voted to leave the EU did not come to pass. In the Herald Sun the other day the CEO of Wesfarmers made the claims that wages would fall if we immigration was cut. Expect a lot more baloney like that should there be a vote on immigration. And as in Britain and Brexit, expect people across the political spectrum from left to right to find themselves on the same side on this issue.

    • “The Establishment ignored what the people wanted on the European Unions ever increasing encroachments on British independence as the country became flooded with cheap and exploited labour from eastern Europe.”

      Umm nope… England wanted entry to the single market and signed a legal contract. What the neoliberal establishment wanted was to ignore all the other rights and conditions by labour, environmental, et al that the EU set as a condition of being in the single market. The Ultras in the establishment did not like these and ran a fear campaign that would impress even WWII propagandists. This is also compounded by the austerity induced post GFC by the same mob which left voters feeling disenfranchised and vulnerable to fear mongering.

      No one forced the establishment to trigger article 50.

      That’s not to mention they have no plan after how long, still with their heads in the sand, only political jockeying and infighting.

      • ErmingtonPlumbingMEMBER

        Umm nope… England wanted entry to the single market and signed a legal contract.

        So you think a “Legal contract” signed by an unrepresentative Neoliberal government should trump (no pun intended) the will of the people?

      • Here’s the deal EP…

        England benefited from the trade in a “have and eat your cake” for some time. The whole immigration argument is a straw man, as I said austerity made pit one ethic group against another a piece of cake. Now the mopes are going to feel some increased austerity whilst the establishment elites won’t feel a thing e.g. none of this was done to help the unwashed mopes.

        Did you see Farge is not giving up his EU pension.

    • So astrolin how is the right wing establishment going to deal with an already low pound going lower due to trade disruptions wrt to purchasing imports or satisfying other FX transactions. I mean the whole boarder issue and all. Do you even know it takes at minimum 2+ years to sort out new contracts wrt to trade, that’s if the white anted government offices even have anyone with the skill sets, lol, over pay some private concern to do a hash of it maybe…..

      • No, Britain (not England) joined the single market in 1986 because Thatcher agreed with the liberalisation of trade and services across the EU. She wrongly thought it impossible that the political aspects of the single market would ever make any progress. She thought it just talk. Thatchers misjudgement on the political encroachments of the single market and the ambitions for one European Govt led by Msr. Delor is what propelled the divisive Euro sceptic wing of the Tory party originally led by still sitting MPs Sir Bill Cash and John Redwood. See John Campbell’s biography of Margaret Thatcher volume 2. Theresa May feared social unrest if Article 50 was not triggered. See Tim Shipman from The Times who recently released a book called Fallout – A Year Of Political Mayhem. Fascinating read about Brexit.

      • Dear dawg….

        The far right made this bed from onset, then poured petrol on it, and now the mopes will get to see what a trade shock is like up front. The tories are afraid of social unrest, how quaint, they love it.

  13. Here we go again like with Bob Day, some never learn it seems. Anyone leaving please take Hanson too….

  14. I emailed Dr Liz Allen a week ago, asking her what her demography qualifications and credentials are. No reply.

    • no surprise. Nil engagement on any forum ever. Also a complete dearth of any data or analysis on any forum.
      You’re looking at a propagandist that has no qualification. A spruiker / shill

    • Dr Liz Allen

      B.SocSci (Population Studies), Macquarie University; M.SocRes (Methods), Australian National University; PhD (Demography), Australian National University
      Demographer, Postdoctoral Fellow
      ANU College of Arts and Social Sciences

      Do you chaps find simple things hard when it contradicts your cognitive biases, yet yammer on anyway.

      • Check out the topic of her PhD thesis though: “Individual, family and neighbourhood contributions to child excess weight and screen time among two Australian cohorts.”

        So, her understanding of immigration is undergraduate level. And she doesn’t have a clue about economics, despite her claims that high immigration is an economic necessity.

        She’s just a useful idiot for vested interests.

      • ErmingtonPlumbingMEMBER

        I watched episode 2 of your recommended Pandoras box this evening, “on the brink of Eternity” Skip.

        Left me feeling unimpressed with Academics with lengthy qualifications

        Dr Liz, just makes It “all sounds so damn rational and so reasonable as to be unassailable”
        I sure she’d be able to find herself a gig in a RAND like clone.

      • The point is the commenter could have found the information they wanted without insinuating their was something amiss. FFS now your using Curtis out of context too.

  15. all the ON pooh poohers here time to get out

    at this point your phony moral opposition to this partty is worse than voting greens

  16. CharlieChaplin

    Population projected to hit 25 million by 11pm tonight according to ABS. Sustainable Australia party was interviewed in ABC news radio today. Credible interview but lacking passion.

  17. We need a Royal Commission that takes it completely out of the hands of all of the political parties.
    And then legislative changes in our border control & visa enforcement.
    We also need to deal with the Temporary Residents (TR) & Tourist Visa Working Illegals (TVWI) first.

    The PR intake issues are the most visible in media & politics, and yes – a reduction in intake & improved screening is needed.

    But is the massive numbers of TR & Tourist Visa Working Illegals (TVWI), almost all third world & unskilled and many in visa breach that the real impact to Australian society.

    We have 2.7 million mostly* third world unskilled migrants now in Australia on Temporary Visas (TR) or illegally working tourist visas (TVWI).
    *This is true. 73% are of third world origin, including one third of the ‘NZ SCV’ and 89% are unskilled.
    (DHA Temporary, SCV & Visitor Visa data 2017)

    ➡️That is equal to 16 years worth of the current Australian migrant PR intake.

    Fact 1. The 2.7 million TR & TWI number onshore far exceeds the entire last decade of PR intake of 1.9 million. They are 140% more again of additional mostly third world unskilled.
    Or another perspective- the combined PR, TR & TVWI total is 4.6 million migrants in the last decade.
    58% of this combined total is Temporary Visa or Tourist Visa with 41% who are here only to work illegally.

    Fact 2. Even if our PR intake was set to zero, the ‘migrant intake impacts’ caused by the TR & TVWI will continue.

    Fact 3. The 2.7 million TR & TVWI do not vote. A large majority are on flimsy visa pretexts that do not even exist in most OECD or their home countries. Many are in visa breach. So this is a pragmatic, ethical and fair solution to the migrant intake crisis.


    🔻2.2 million Temporary Residents.
    650,000 NZ SCV, but 220,000 are non NZ born using NZ as a backdoor to gain access into Australia with full work & other rights. 95% one way flow into Australia.

    624,000 foreign students & partners on a range of Visa categories- of which less than 50,000 are doing genuine high level OECD internationally recognised education. The other 575,000 are doing low level English, high school courses dressed up as certificates & diplomas & other courses, all available globally / online for free or in their home country. The education course is just an alibi to get onshore J work illegally, repay an agent procurer loan debt, send back remittances, secure a PR and act as an anchor in chain migration of their extended family to be an Australian welfare & health care burden.
    170,000 sponsored & skilled visas but only 75,00 as primary and only 12,000 in genuine unique high value professionally accrediated skills.
    150,000 on bridging visas, rorting the visa system in churn, extension, appeals, family, spousal, protection visas and other rackets.
    And then the balance on a whole range of special visas and arrangements that is widely frauded.

    🔻440,000 tourist visitors – (ABF / DHA parliamentary committee report) mostly Chinese, North & South Asian, Indian, Nepalese, Middle East etc.

    🔻Plus 55,000 overstayers. As above.

    And 86% are highly concentrated in Sydney or Melbourne.

    City Concentration.
    2.2 million Temporary Visa holders (July 2018) third world & unskilled.
    1.2 million TR reside in Sydney.
    0.8 million TR in Melbourne.
    0.2 million TR elsewhere.

    1.9 million PR & citizen grants in the last decade – mostly third world unskilled.
    0.9 million PR in Sydney.
    0.7 million PR in Melbourne.
    0.3 million elsewhere. (ABS / DHA 2018)

    440,000 illegally working unskilled Chinese, Indian, South East Asian.
    220,00 tourist illegals in Sydney.
    190,000 tourist illegals in Melbourne.
    50,000 tourist illegals elsewhere.

    55,000 overstayers, concentrated in the third world migrant slum enclaves of
    Sydney (20,000)
    Melbourne (15,000)
    the rest elsewhere. (DHA 2017).

    The total number of mostly third world unskilled migrant intake in Sydney is 2.34 million.
    That is 45% of Sydney’s pop of 5.2 million (ABS est July 2018), nearly every 2nd person.

    The 1.2 million TR migrants alone in Sydney are 23%. Nearly 1 in 4 people in Sydney.
    🔹Think about that statistic.
    0.9 mil PR in Sydney are 17% of the Sydney Population, or 1 in every 6 people.
    And 0.22 million TV working illegally & 20k overstayers are 1 in every 22 people.

    Slightly lower figures, but in similar ratios for Melbourne.

    These 2.7 million third world unskilled migrant guestworkers (TR & TVWI) nationally are long stay, very long stay, repeat & multiple visit stay.

    Over 1.9 million are working illegally in visa breach, paying little or no tax. They form a $91 billion underground cash no tax sub economy.
    They are the epicentre of foreign criminal run illicit & blackmarket activity.

    They steal Australian jobs (the reason they are here), and occupy housing – some 440,000 dwellings nationally. (2.7 million / 6 average migrant guestworker occupants = 450,000 ex Australian dwellings) now converted to migrant guestworker occupancy.

    They use public transport, have over 675,000 cars nationally (340,000 in Sydney & 280,000 in Melbourne) creating massive city congestion and contention.

    They debase education, services, living standards, employment, wages, ownership & every other facet of our society and living standards.

    The ‘migration debate’ needs to shift to the facts.
    Force a Royal Commission and exit the TR & TVWI migrant guestworkers working illegally, in visa breach or on fake & pretext visas.

    ➡️ 1.5 million TR & TVWI should be immediately exited either on visa breach or as not suitable.

    🔻440,000 illegally working tourists (TVWI) exited.
    🔻575,000 of 624,000 TR fake students & partners to go. Only a small fraction are doing genuine post graduate higher level education with international recognition. 580,000 foreign students & partners doing very low level English or high school level courses dressed up as ‘Certficates’ or Diplomas as a visa alibi to work illegally, to repay a foreign agent loan debt, to secure a PR & be an anchor for chain migration of their extended family as our welfare & health care burden.. The entire program is corrupted top to bottom, Normalise immediately back to OECD levels.
    🔻230,000 non NZ born TR SCV of the 650,000 NZ SCV (Aust / NZ SCV should only be for NZ or Aust Born).
    🔻250,000 ‘skilled, sponsor, bridging, protection’ fakes.

    We need a Royal Commission into our broken & corrupted border control & lack of visa enforcement.

    A Royal Commission takes it out of the hands of both political parties. Neither party has shown any sign in wanting to act on this, even though it is the main issue the majority of Australian people want to see fixed.
    The political parties can not be trusted with this.
    They will sell Australian’s out.

  18. We urgently need an Australian version of the UK’s Migration Watch or FAIR in the US.

    Such an organisation could help inform the Australian public about immigration issues and counter the relentless barrage of pro-high immigration piffle from the ABC, SBS, “academics” like that twit Liz Allen, rent-seeking business groups and our own government.

    Perhaps Dick Smith could kick in a few mill to get the ball rolling?